Training Tips to Prevent Common Sports Injuries

Articles | Online Master of Coaching Education

Athlete stretching muscles before a run


As a coach, it is your responsibility to train athletes throughout their careers. Whether you’re a youth, high school, college, or professional coach, one of the main priorities is promoting performance and preventing injury. Online resources and additional education can help you keep up with new training trends and help you understand the intricacies of certain exercises – which is critical in today’s fast-moving athletic industry.

Thanks to advanced communication and national cooperation between professional trainers and coaches, athletic training has rapidly evolved. Particularly when preventing common sports injuries. All athletes face the risk of injury, and younger athletes may receive injuries that cause negative, long-term effects. To prevent this, your prevention training knowledge should grow alongside the athletic training industry’s findings. With this knowledge, you can teach your athletes the proper methods for injury-free training. For example, training slowly at the start, a proper diet, and physical/mental awareness are foundational tips you can provide to your athletes’ benefit.

Common Injuries

Before exploring preventative training tips, it’s important coaches share prevalent injury information with their athletes: what to look for, the common types, how they feel, etc. Your main focus should be their education regarding dehydration, concussions, and sprains/bruises. These are some of the most common injuries that can become worse without appropriate attention.

Dehydration can happen in any sport or activity and should be taken seriously. Frequently providing sports drinks and water to your athletes will help them avoid the effects of dehydration. Headaches, body temperature fluctuations, cramps, and dizziness are symptoms of dehydration. Any athlete showing these symptoms should hydrate in a shaded area.

Concussions are extremely dangerous to athletes because they can cause long-term damage. You should stress that concussions occur from head impact which affects the brain. Symptoms can vary and include fatigue, confusion, headaches, and imbalance. Concussions are better avoided altogether by teaching athletes how to perform while protecting their heads.

Sprains and bruises are caused by a variety of reasons, and there’s a good chance you can’t avoid them. They can be minor or major, and athletes may want to play through them. You can help teach them that rest, isolated exercises, and caution will help the healing process and prevent them from a more serious sprain or bruise.

Start Training Slowly

The risk of injury increases with sudden changes in training intensity and duration. Along with educating your athletes about training, you are also responsible for shaping their training schedule. They will learn through the training framework you provide that beneficial training starts slowly.
Before an official season starts, conditioning should be underway. Conditioning is a warm-up period where athletes regard their flexibility and cardio performances. Running, swimming, and strength training are strong exercises that warm up the body and reveal athletic performance potential to every athlete. If athletes are pushed into compound exercises and rigorous training after a period of idleness, they may hurt themselves quickly.
Additionally, urge your athletes to play multiple sports instead of specializing. Multiple-sport participation naturally rounds out an athlete’s exercises so they are physically balanced. Multiple-sport athletes usually play year-round, meaning they can transition smoothly and spend less time conditioning and more time in sport-specific exercises.

Healthy Diet

What constitutes a “healthy diet” can be subjective due to the unique needs of every sport. However, there are some foundational guidelines that you can impart to your athletes. Food is fuel that directly affects how a body performs and grows. Variables such as portion size, types of food, and nutritional intake can keep athletes healthy or lend themselves to poor performance and injuries.
One of the best lessons you can teach your athletes is about eating disorders. Undereating is as dangerous as overeating and, without enough nutrition, an athlete’s body will weaken. Athletes may not eat enough for multiple reasons, but it’s imperative they understand an unbalanced diet physically hurts their body. If they are trying to improve their performance, they need to provide enough nutrition for the body to capitalize on. Furthermore, diet affects the healing process. Sugar and alcohol, for example, inhibit the healing process. Comparatively, vegetables and salmon can promote recovery.

Listen to Your Body

Pain, fatigue, stress, and tightness are preemptive signs of injury. Athletes train to maximize their athletic performance, but they can overdo it if they don’t acknowledge warning signs. You have to help them walk the fine line of pushing themselves to the limit, but backing off before an injury occurs. Ask questions about how they feel, and observe their movements for any inconsistencies that may divulge an undisclosed pain. By helping your athletes balance rest and training, you are helping them prevent unnecessary, self-inflicted injury.
Teaching your athletes about preventative training tips includes your own continued education. Traditional practice strategies can be tried and true, but some have been found to be detrimental. Safer, more beneficial methods are being implemented, and, as a successful coach, you want to be ahead of the curve.

Learn More

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